MEng (Hons) Civil & Structural Engineering (2016) Graduate Structural Engineer, Mouchel Consulting, Leeds
Why did you apply to the University of Bradford? What was your first impression of the university and the city and what did you enjoy most about your time in Bradford?
After finishing college, I had an interest in Structural Engineering. My former colleagues at college, who studied a similar course as me, studied Civil and Structural Engineering at the University of Bradford. It was based on their suggestion that I went to the University Open Day – I enjoyed the day and found out how friendly and welcoming people were at the University of Bradford.
The Civil and Structural Engineering Department has gained an incredible reputation during my time in the University League Tables and I found that the teaching has been more responsive to my needs as years have passed. Now that I have finished my course and can look back at my time, it’s clear that I have enjoyed all my five years; it’s definitely been the best five years of my life so far, but in particular, I have treasured the people I have met and the opportunities I have been given whilst studying here.
Why did you choose that particular course? What did you like and enjoy most about your course?
I chose MEng (Hons) Civil and Structural Engineering, firstly because it was accredited by the ICE and IstructE. Secondly, I wanted to be a Structural Engineer and I already knew the Department had a great reputation for research because I had been reading some of the research articles published by members of staff during my time at college.
I enjoyed my Stage 4 Project – I got to test composite column under axial loading, and I know it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but to see the behaviour which is going through the columns was amazing. I absolutely enjoyed my research topic and that made it a lot easier to put the hard work in. My supervisor was really supportive and passionate in what I was doing and this really helped me to push myself. After handing in my project, my supervisor told me it was going to be published; I was really surprised but very pleased!
What tips would you give to prospective students about the course at University of Bradford and the university itself?
Definitely keep on top of your work, but also try to enjoy the social side. The university offers many different social clubs; so take advantage and make new connections with diverse people. One of the main challenges of university is the self-discipline. Once you have achieved this, your university life will be much easier.
The course itself can offer a potential career in Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering, Water Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering and Highways Engineering. There are many other opportunities which can be taken from this course; but the best part of the course is that it is so diverse.
How did Career Development Services support you during your time at University?
Whilst at University the Career Development Services supported me at every stage of my graduate process i.e. CV, Covering Letter, completing and practice competency questions, interview and assessment centre practice. I believe I have become more confident now, as I think I would have struggled at some interviews if I did not get the assistance from Career Development Services.
Tell us about your current job (brief responsibilities of what you will be doing).
My graduate role is with Mouchel Consulting, a global infrastructure and business services across the highways and transportation, local government, emergency services, property, health, education and utility markets across the world. I will be working as a Structural Engineer from June 2016, in the Leeds office. This role will integrate structural design of mainly bridge structures. Mouchel offers diverse graduate programmes and supports their graduates to achieve chartered status.
What action did you take to improve your employability whilst at University?
Whilst at University, employability was something I thought about a lot, however having good grades help employers seek the best candidate for the interview, but being able to say confidently and consistently accomplishing high grades within in your degree provides a good platform. The main part of your degree is to understand the knowledge provided, as this will help during interview stages.
I also completed a sandwich year with Balfour Beatty in the Grimsby site office after my second year at University. The year in industry benefited me to the consideration of employers when I was going through various applications. I think it is essential for student to have awareness of the industry and the development surrounding.
What advice would you give to current students wishing to enter this type of career?
Firstly, when you come, socialise and meet new people. Always work hard and definitely try to prioritise things. Do your research into what industry you want to be in and see if you can secure a job. Talk to graduates, senior students in Stage 3 and 4 about the working industry.
I chose Civil and Structural Engineering due to my background coming from college and it was enjoyable experience looking back into my years at University. I say if you enjoy a subject, do the research and give it a go and looking back, it will make you happy that you had a go!!
If you work hard, create opportunities for yourself and take ownership of your degree, then I have no doubt that you’ll be able to find success. For anyone reading this, I wish you all the best!